P90X, brain child of fitness expert Tony Horton, has been transforming lives since 2007. At least, that’s the infomercial version of P90X.
P90X consists of a series of 12 follow-up DVDs designed as a supplemental series for graduates of P90X. The gist of the program is high-intensity workouts in a minimalist style.
The format includes cardio training, jump training (or plyometrics), and the martial art of kenpo. The varied workout schedule is based on the concept of “muscle confusion,” a form of periodization or cross-training that is designed to achieve maximum results while avoiding the plateau effect, allowing muscle groups to continuously improve during phases of controlled yet unfamiliar movements.
When our team initially obtain the program, we looked it over for overall intensity and how easy this program would be for the average person to follow.
We talked to the people in our offices, the ones that were readily in shape and the ones that needed to be doing a consistent workout of any kind at least 3-days a week.
The overall impression was that the workout appeared too difficult or hard to keep up with. Throughout each of the 12 Dvds, Horton, expresses modification for routines that are too dificult.
This is, to us at least a matter of some importance. On several of the Dvds, Horton advices that members of his own team, could not do all the required reps in the first week, second week and in some cases, even the first 30 days.
So what does this mean for the average Joe or Jill that wants to realistically lose 30,40 or 50 lbs? It means, that you’ll have to take you time and do the best you can until you learn to complete the routines correctly and with the required number of reps.
Is it hard? yes, it’s hard. At one point, Horton himself admits “I know it’s hard… it’s supposed to be!”. Will you be able to finish any DVD from start to finish, when you start? Not likely.
My team and I followed the instructions by watching the first recommend Dvd first, then we created routine schedules to rotate DVDs and maximize our efforts. DVD bonus: Each DVD starts out by telling you what you’ll need to perform the routines and tasks.
Bands, free weights, towels and water etc. Having the option of working out at home and in privacy, certainly helps because, you will look ridiculous as you attempt to complete the routines.
Will you work up a sweat? Will you be sore? Will you lose weight? You’re damn skippy you will. Will it take you 90 days to look like the people you see in the infomercials? No, it will take longer.
Is that a deceptive practice? No, not at all. In my opinion, 90 days assumes a few things. 1) That you are in reasonable shape to begin with. Have you ever seen anyone that weights 300-400 lbs on any of the infomercials? The average person is 40 lbs overweight. That characterization does not typify what we’ve seen on TV. 2) P90X also assumes that you can complete the routines with reasonable efficiency. If you’ve never done Kempo before, it may take you up to two weeks to get the motions down – that time will factor into your 90 days. 3) That you are adhering to the P90X diet or at least a diet that effectively utilizes your caloric intake.
Seriously, most body builders and people who work out consistently, do not leave the gym and go to their favorite fast food restaurant. What you eat is in direct correlation to the benefits of the workout you do.
So, if you’re not ready to change the way you eat, don’t even bother starting P90X.
The workouts were rigorous and seemingly well planned out. As a trainer, my only real problem was the distraction of team members modifying routines at-will that worked best for them, after modifying a routine they have been doing for longer than 90 days.
An example would be, watch a routine with 4 people including, Horton all doing something slightly different from one another. For the novice, this will and can be confusing. My recommendation is to watch Horton only, and modify or change up the routine, only after you have mastered it.
Overall results, in the first two weeks, members of our team started to notice more definition in their deltoids and arms. After one month, the absolute beginnings of a six pack could be detected on 3 team members.
After the second month, each member of the test team had lost an average of 22 lbs and 4.5% body fat. After 90 days, weight loss had reached an average of 37.6 lbs, more muscle definition and an average loss of 7.2% body fat.
Disclosure: Our team did maintain a diet of 1,500 calories per day, excluding processed foods, saturated fats and soft drinks.
Can P90X work for the average person? Only if you’ve resigned yourself to giving it a try for 90 or 120 days, while maintaining a proper diet. Why 120 days instead on 90? Most people are not able to commit to 90 days of uninterrupted workouts (as a fitness trainer, I can attest to this). So give yourself a more realistic time frame and set goals to do something 3 or 4 days per week.
You will sweat, you may even cry a little – but you will start to see a transformation in your body with consistent effort using P90X.
Joe Vonet, currently works as a certified trainer, in California. In addition, Joe writes a blog on healthy eating habits, winning tips for optimal fitness and overall weight loss success and he and his team reviews top workout programs, to help people determine, which program is worth their time and money.
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